File this one under surprisingly great…”if you rule the world, the heart is on fire“; the blood certainly pumped a bit faster after this release. For fans of bands such as Amaranthe, Swiss band Rizon are like catnip cocaine for cool cats. This band knows how to bellow out catchy pop metal with all the swagger of a grifter taking your hard earned cash.
The band is made up of Matthias Götz (vocals/acoustic guitars), Rahel Fischer (vocals), Tom Lindegger (drums), Maik Kindermann (bass), Christian Götz (guitars), Reto Hähnel (guitars) and Marco Küderli (keyboards).
Catchy, poppy Euro metal for sure, but it is a dark record also. The album cracks open with the anthem “Nevermore“. The vocal interplay between Götz and Fischer sets the tone for the rest of the collection. Bombarding keys fill out the sound and the whole of the album production is of the highest quality. This can be attributed to Jacob Hansen, one of the most popular engineers in metal, who mixed and mastered the record. Hansen is known for producing Doro, the aforementioned Amaranthe, Volbeat, Epica, Delain, Pretty Maids and Primal Fear.
“Feel The Heat” hints at some Lacuna Coil influences and Rahel Fisher sounds a lot like Cristina Scabbia. I also liked the sound clips, which added to the atmosphere of the track. It comes as no surprise that Fisher has a background in singing musicals – her voice would not sound out of place singing Lloyd-Webber‘s Phantom Of The Opera!
The classic Accept-like “Midnight Sun” shows Rizon at their more muscular – Götz sounds like Blackie Lawless from W.A.S.P. on this one. Loved the guitar breaks and the whole song is strong. I hear this song in my head most mornings, so it is very catchy! It does get a bit much when I hear it in my head before going to bed also…
Next up is another really tuneful song – “If You Rule The World” is like a Scorpions song. It is another gem in the collection. The chorus sticks around like a piece of toilet paper on the bottom of your shoe that you just can’t get rid of.
The one weak song is the slightly cliched “Lost Without You“, but this is made up by the rest of the record. “I Follow You” floats in on a minor chord maelstrom and builds like a mini opera. I was blown away by the vocals of both singers on this. Top notch.
A great drum and bass workout starts off the Doro-inspired “New Age Dawn“, which passes by and melts into the dramatic piano-lead “No Way Out“.
“Timebomb” sucks the same air as the James Bond theme before moving along more traditional power metal roads. It also stops at “Hotel California” and echoes “Script For A Jester’s Tear” by Marillion at around the 4.20 mark – see if you can hear it!
The final songs “Freedom Of Life (part I) and “Freedom Of Life (part II)” mix a church organ dirge with an amazing Euro-pop and Prog-inspired ender. It should not work, but it does and it does in spades! Absolutely my favourite part of this fantastic collection.
Take a listen and see if this hooky record hooks you also.